Mat Madness

Waterford’s Offenberger 5-0 at Hickory Grove

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Waterford’s Haden Offenberger competes in a wrestling match in Saturday’s Hickory Grove Market Invitational at Warren High School in Vincent.

VINCENT — Haden Offenberger is off to a good first tournament mat start.

The Waterford High 145-pounder went undefeated at 5-0 in Saturday’s Hickory Grove Market Invitational at Warren High.

“My teammates have really helped me out getting in shape and stuff,” said Offenberger, a Wildcat sophomore. “Everything was going my way, and I was never behind in any match today — and that makes it a lot easier. That’s for sure.”

Offenberger had two pins in the tourney, and said his opponents were competitive.

“Jackson’s 145 (Ty Jones) was pretty good, and Jacob Dold of New Lexington was, too,” Offenberger said.

New Lex ended Warren’s three-year run as team champion, compiling 412 points. Maysville was runner-up, while Jackson and the Warriors were third and fourth, respectively in the 12-school field. Locally, after Warren, Morgan was fifth; Waterford seventh; Fort Frye ninth; Marietta 10th; and Belpre 11th.

“New Lexington brought their ‘A’ team down this year,” said Warren head coach Jim Rhodes.

“We beat them last week pretty handily at Cambridge.

“But they wrestled well today, and they deserved to win.”

New Lexington’s Leilah Castro was the tournament’s MVP in the 126-pound weight division.

“She pinned her way through,” Rhodes said. “She’s legit, and nationally ranked. She’s very strong and has a very good background. Her dad is a martial artist and an MMA fighter.”

Warren, the three-time defending Hickory Grove champ, was not at full strength with seven starters out.

“Three of our starters (Peyten Kellar, Liam Kellar, and Brady Oberdier), were at Ironman,” Rhodes said. “And we also had two out with injury.

“But Brock Bowen (160) stepped up, did well, and finished in the top four. Trent (Sayre) had ACTs, so he had to forfeit a match. Cole Coleman (113) was aggressive and wrestled real good all day.”

Dylan Anderson (195) was Warren’s only champ, pinning New Lex’s Clayton Hinkle in the finals. Tristen Duffey (145) was second, suffering an injury default and forfeiting his match against Offenberger.

Locally, Belpre’s Dakota Ross flattened Marietta’s Ethan Prather in the 285 finals.

Golden Eagle 113-pounder Andrew Maranda suffered a fall in the seventh round and placed second.

Also finishing runner-up was Fort Frye’s Kason Delancey (126).

Morgan crowned one champion in Wyatt Abele (120), and had two second placers in Elijah Burkhart (106) and Ethan Fisher (132). Federal Hocking’s Casey Adams (182) also placed second.